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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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15–3. Recommend Business Process Improvements to Business Units

The traditional function of the internal auditor has been to diligently root through a business unit’s processes, looking for control weaknesses or evidence of fraud. If anything was found, it cast the business unit manager in a poor light. Given this sequence of events, it should be no surprise that internal auditors are not usually welcomed by joyous crowds of auditees.

A much better approach is to mix the chore of control reviews with making suggestions to the business unit managers for process improvements. The internal auditor is in an ideal position to do this, having an expert knowledge of business processes, as well as a comparative knowledge of how the same processes are handled in other parts of the company. Indeed, the internal auditor can be considered a walking encyclopedia of control process best practices. By shifting to a focus on valuable improvement recommendations, the internal auditor creates an entirely different image within the corporation of being a helpful knowledge worker who can make local managers look like stars. This is a particularly important change in focus if the internal auditor can either make additional recommendations in regard to implementation steps for process improvements or bring the local manager in contact with the in-house expert who has already completed an implementation. By taking this approach, one can not only be the source of ideas, but also assist in carrying them ...

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